BEIJING – Brazil’s vice president Hamilton Mourão said on Wednesday his country would pursue stronger ties with China, calling the Asian giant an important ally for Brazil’s economic recovery during a visit to Beijing and highlighted investment opportunities for Chinese companies in sectors such as infrastructure and energy.
Mourão took part in a conference in the Chinese capital marking the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Brazil Business Council, during which he said Brazilian businessmen wanted wider and improved bilateral ties.
Mourão said that the future demanded a better-suited platform for Brazil-China relations and the ties were entering a “new” and “more promising” phase marked by a “dynamic” agenda that reinforced trust between the two sides.
He said that Brasilia considered ties with China strategic and granted them priority, although the common objectives of creating more trade, investment and jobs would require the participation of the business sector.
China has been Brazil’s leading trading partner since 2009, and the trade volume between the two countries reached $98.9 billion in 2018, according to official data.
Mourão emphasized that the trade flow with China in 2018 had been the biggest with any country in the entire history of Brazil.
He highlighted the growing Chinese investment in Brazil, especially in the infrastructure sector, apart from mentioning exports and energy as other sectors that offered opportunities for China.
The vice president said Brazil would try to redirect Chinese investment towards “sectors of interest,” such as science, technology and innovation.
Mourão highlighted some measures taken by the new government in Brazil aimed at improving the climate for business, investment and technological development in the country, such as reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers, increasing the exchange of goods and services and plans to make the Brazilian market more attractive and safe for foreign capital.
He said the new Brazilian government had been elected to bring Brazil back on the path of economic development and would speed up Brazil’s integration into the global economy.
The vice president pointed out that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro would visit China in the second half of the year, and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping would also head to Brazil to participate in this year’s BRICS summit, set to be held in November.
The conference was also attended by Luiz Augusto de Castro Neves, president of the China-Brazil Business Council, who said China would play a central role in resuming Brazil’s economic development – with opportunities in key sectors such as energy and agribusiness – and could cooperate in the fields of renewable energy, electric vehicles and environmental protection.